As followers of Christ, we are compelled to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. It is our love of God and neighbor that leads us to offer the following statement:
ʕa x̣est sx̣ľx̣aľt. Welcome, everyone. We acknowledge that we gather today on the traditional homelands of the four bands of the Spokane Tribe of Indians: Sntutʔúlix̣ʷ, Snx̣ʷméneʔ, Scqesciłni and Sč̓ewileʔ. Since time immemorial, the Spokane Tribe of Indians has lived prosperously on this land, identifying themselves as "sqélix̣ʷ," or "flesh of the land." We pay our respects to their Elders – past, present and emerging – and we acknowledge their continuing connection with the land, waters and culture. We honor God with gratitude for the land itself and the peoples who have fished, hunted, harvested and gathered here for generations.
This acknowledgment recognizes the first custodians of this land, the suffering they endured, and the continued restoration and healing needed. It is important to understand the history that has brought us to reside here, because such understanding fosters a more united community that honors and embraces the first peoples of Spokane. We thank the Spokane Tribe members for sharing their stories, culture and language to develop this welcome. lem lmtš šey̓ u hoy.
Guidelines for usage: The university president will determine the statement's usage at all formal university events. Other campus gatherings, such as meetings of student clubs and organizations, department meetings, etc., may also use the statement at their discretion. Use of the statement is not mandated by the university, and care should be taken in determining the correct and appropriate venues at which the statement is read. If the statement is used, the entire statement must be read. In no instances should the statement be read by those who are not well-practiced in the Salish pronunciations used. To do so would be disrespectful and would contravene the intended spirit of the statement. Resources for the correct usage and pronunciation of this statement can be found by contacting Whitworth's chief diversity officer.